All of us like to sound optimistic with respect to health - you and I will remain hale and healthy without need for medical assistance. However, being realistic helps. Truth is, you are likely to have some type of health problem at some point in your life. It could be a preexisting medical problem or an accident or series of tests triggered by a mundane health disturbance. You may end up spending 25% of your annual income paying medical bills.
In today's context, health insurance is an absolute necessity. It is practically a medical coverage to confront the increasing health care costs, costs that continue to rise faster than incomes. Health insurance premiums are rising every year. However, it is still possible to find an affordable health insurance plan that suits your needs. Provided you know what to look out for. Look for affordable family health insurance - that will take care of your family's medical needs.
Affordable health insurance
Considering data taken in 2005, close to 45 million Americans lacked health insurance. A look at the age wise break-up reveals that 21% of the uninsured are below age 18 and 63% are under age 34. The number of uninsured Americans is likely to reach 52 million by 2009 going by future projections. Every uninsured individual does not have access to quality health care and consequently will suffer poorer medical outcomes simply because he/she lacks health insurance. Lack of health insurance is a real barrier to seek quality medical help and definitely contributes to poorer health.
The need for having health insurance is indisputable for unforeseen health calamity, also taking into account rapidly rising health care costs. Take a look at the cost of prescriptions drugs. Not to forget hospital visits. A single emergency room visit can cost hundreds of dollars and intensive care is likely to cost thousands per day.
Like any other insurance, health insurance helps to pay specified sums for illness or injury in return for a premium paid by the insurer. Taking health insurance makes medical help a little more affordable as the larger part of the expenses is borne by the insurance company e.g. hospitalization, prescribed medicines, annual checkups, doctor's fee etc.
Affordable family health insurance
Affordable health insurance plans can be of different types. Finding answers to certain questions combined with updated information about affordable health insurance plan will help in short-listing the type you can consider.
- Policy for yourself or your entire family (number of family members)
- All members enjoy good health/specific member has considerable health issues.
- Self-employed / whether receiving health insurance through your employment
- Analyze your personal insurance requirements
- Determine how much you can commit and the number of years you are willing to commit
- Analyze the types of affordable health insurance plans
- Get familiar with the features of the plan
- Does family health insurance plan have features suitable for all family members
- Does it cover major illness, prescription medications etc
- Pros and cons of each family health insurance plan
- Any out-of pocket costs (deductibles/additional payments)
- Obtain suggestions from family physician and friends
- Prefer established, reputed insurance organization
Affordable health insurance plans
HMOs (Health maintenance organizations) are considered to be the least expensive and least flexible plan. This requires members to prepay a premium for the HMOs health services. The HMO establishes a network with health care providers, physicians, hospitals and other health professionals. In case of medical assistance, the insured will approach a doctor part of the HMO network. The doctor or primary care physician in turn will coordinate further medical need that may be required with specialist part of the network.
PPOs (preferred provider organizations) - Health care providers are termed as preferred providers and the list includes hospitals, physicians and other medical facilities. The preferred providers contract with a specific health plan and agree to provide medical services to those covered in the plan. The insured will be encouraged to use the preferred provider to reap the benefits of best health care rates.
POSs (point of service plans) provide the option to use the services of health care providers part of the plan's network or a specialist outside the network for an additional cost. It is advantageous for the insured to use health care providers part of the network to reap maximum benefits.
Indemnity plans also known as reimbursement plan allows the insured to choose own doctors. The insurer totally, in part or up to a pre-determined amount will pay the cost of expenses.
Dental insurance plan - Exclusively for dental care
Vision insurance plan - Exclusively for eye care expenses
Student health insurance - Exclusively for students to meet their health care expenses
Business health insurance - Offers lower premiums and tax benefits. The employer, employee and workers are covered under this plan against injury, illness and death.
International health insurance- Most suited for those who travel a lot. Supports medical expenses that are likely to arise anywhere in the world.